• The Writer – Jennifer Celotta
  • Director – Harold Ramis
  • A brief synopsis – Carole breaks up with Michael just after he got two tickets to Sandals Jamaica.  Then, in his misery, he cancels Christmas at the office.  To avert this disaster, Andy invites Michael to lunch at Benihanas restaurant.  Angela kicks Karen out of her first party planning committee meeting, and, as a result, she and Pam make their own party planning committee, which outdraws Angela’s party.  Pam set Dwight up on a prank for Jim’s Christmas gift, but Jim declines, citing the need to move on.
  • The best line – Angela: Hey, excuse me! Waitress lady! Hey, where do you think you’re going with that? [refers to toy she just took from table]
    Second Cindy: I thought I could have it.
    Angela: You can’t have it [takes back toy] I don’t walk into your house and steal your Hello Kitty backpack.
  • The best moment – When Dwight takes a despondent Angela’s hand silently.
  • 2nd best moment – Pam gives Toby her Dunder Mifflin bathrobe.
  • The best storyline – Karen and Pam put Angela’s party planning dictatorship days to an end.
  • Notable guest appearance – Steve Carell’s wife again as Carole.  Cindy and Cindy at the restaurant and two different Cindy’s at the party.
  • Would Michael have been reprimanded? – Probably not.  Pretty reasonable here.
  • Grade – A-

A pretty good episode that has the sad distinction of having to follow the best Christmas episode ever.  Fortunately, they had the advantage of Harold Ramis in the director’s chair.  He manages to reel in Carell’s worst tendencies and emphasize his gifts.  The criminally underused Angela is given a long overdue spotlight, and Karen is given a chance to bond with Pam.  Bonus points for Pam’s kindness towards Toby, throwing his heart into even more of a smitten state.  Ramis gets the most out of the script here.

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